by Nick Giongco
Manny Pacquiao has signed up with Floyd Mayweather’s chief handler Al Haymon, a bold move that should pave the way for a rematch between the two stars sometime next year, according to a boxing man who has knowledge of the deal.
But before the rematch happens, Pacquiao is likely to engage American Adrien Broner in a tuneup in January 2019 in a soon-to-be-determined venue.
“There are many options where we can hold that fight,” said the Bulletin source, who has been burning the lines the past few weeks.
A US fight seems the perfect idea since Pacquiao hasn’t fought there after beating Jessie Vargas two years ago.
Mayweather edged Pacquiao in May 2015 but the Filipino legend insists that he fought with an injured shoulder and vows Mayweather will be in for a rough night if they rumble again.
Talks of a rematch heightened last month when Pacquiao and Mayweather ran into each other in Tokyo.
Pacquiao’s decision to hook up with Haymon also comes with another perk, said the source, who is joining hands with renowned dealmaker Sean Gibbons in the negotiations with Mayweather and Haymon.
“It will be an opportunity for other Filipino fighters to shine in the US,” he said, noting that ex-world bantam champion Marlon Tapales will soon be fighting under Pacquiao’s MP Promotions.
Pacquiao used to fight for Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. but his contract with the Las Vegas-based outfit lapsed recently.
Pacquiao, who turns 40 on Dec. 17, crushed Argentine strongman Lucas Matthysse in his last fight in Kuala Lumpur.